Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Paul Graham

Paul Graham has written a number of interesting essays on his website about Open Source Software and other topics. Today I read What Business Can Learn from Open Source and found it quite interesting. It said something about the media that rang true:

Most articles in the print media are boring. For example, the president notices that a majority of voters now think invading Iraq was a mistake, so he makes an address to the nation to drum up support. Where is the man bites dog in that? I didn't hear the speech, but I could probably tell you exactly what he said. A speech like that is, in the most literal sense, not news: there is nothing new in it.

Nor is there anything new, except the names and places, in most "news" about things going wrong. A child is abducted; there's a tornado; a ferry sinks; someone gets bitten by a shark; a small plane crashes. And what do you learn about the world from these stories? Absolutely nothing. They're outlying data points; what makes them gripping also makes them irrelevant.

It suggests the traditional media has become stuck in its ways due to a lack of competition, and thus the best amateur bloggers (Paul Graham included, I might add!) can produce content that is better than that of the traditional media.

He also talks about how typical office environments can actually negatively impact productivity and how people working at home tend to work better. I must disagree with this: some people no doubt work better from home, but not me. There is too much distraction. At home I would end up eating, watching TV, reading a novel, or doing anything else but working. At work, the only distraction is the internet, hence this blog entry.

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